How to Avoid a Costly Recall

Oct. 12, 2007
Tips for U.S. companies doing business with foreign manufacturers.

Bridget Calhoun, a partner in Crowell & Moring LLP's Washington office practicing antitrust and consumer protection law, offers these basic strategies to help U.S. companies mitigate the risks of importing unsafe products when contracting with foreign manufacturers:

1. Conduct adequate due diligence of foreign manufacturers, such as:

  • Check the manufacturer's litigation and claims history.
  • Request references (preferably other U.S. customers).
  • Purchase and test products manufactured for others.
  • Investigate the manufacturer's finances and insurance status.

2. Structure protective terms and conditions in the purchase contract, including:

  • A broad indemnification clause;
  • Comprehensive representations and warranties and right to return non-confirming products;
  • Comprehensive general liability insurance;
  • Permission to conduct facility, product and records inspections; and
  • A dispute resolution clause.

3. Perform quality control checks at multiple points in the manufacturing process, including:

  • Multiple quality control checks on samples throughout the manufacturing process ;
  • Periodic inspections of the manufacturer's books and records; and
  • On-site facility inspections.

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About the Author

Dave Blanchard | Senior Director of Content

Focus: Supply Chain

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During his career Dave Blanchard has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. He also serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2010), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its second edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

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